Is the office out of fashion? New survey suggests it might be

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Whether it’s to save on costs, or just to avoid the pain of having to go into an office, it seems that South African entrepreneurs have a thing for working from home.

In fact, if preliminary findings from the 2015 Ventureburn Startup Survey are anything to go by, then home is the number one choice when it comes to workspaces for fledgling tech companies. This finding is in line with the history of some of the world’s most successful startups, some of who have started in kitchens, home offices and garages. Just look no further than Mark Shuttleworth — the country’s most successful tech entrepreneur — who started Thawte in his parents’ garage.

The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which has so far received an overwhelming response, aims to “tell all” about the startup sector in South Africa, for technology-based companies with annual revenues of under R20m and staff numbers of under 50.

Unsurprisingly, startups indicated on the survey that the next most popular choice of workspace is a rented office. Given that they’re only ever designed to be short-term solutions, it should hardly be surprising that incubators are in fact the least popular.

There are many advantages to running a startup from home, but exactly why so many startups choose to do so is one of the things the Startup Survey is hoping to uncover.

The survey, which is still open for submissions and closes at the end of the week, also aims to interrogate assumptions that South Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is plagued by challenges stretching from a lack of funding to skills deficits and inadequate support from government. At least, these are the general assumptions.

By looking at data acquired from South African technology-based startups, Ventureburn in partnership with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and analytics company Qurio hopes to shed light on the crucial specifics where South African startups thrive, and where they don’t.

Everyone who completes the survey is guaranteed to win a Startup Goodie Bag to the value R4300. In addition to that, you stand the chance to win prizes to the value of R170 000, including an iPad mini 16gb with wifi & cellular worth R7 799, courtesy of Digicape.

Enter the survey here:

Submissions for the Startup Survey close on 22 May. The data acquired will be released in a series of articles over the following months.



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